The show began with two Christmas specials in 2000 and 2001. The 2000 show won the Golden Rose of Montreux award. This was followed up by a six-part series in March 2002. A second and final series consisting of seven episodes began in March 2003. It is unlikely that the show will return, as The Lenny Henry Show (2004) also features sketches and is set to return for more series.
The primary feature of the show is the sketches, although Henry has a brief stand-up section in each episode.
Lenny Henry in Pieces introduced many new characters, the more notable examples being Donovan Bogarde, a randy OAP who is attracted to and pursues Mrs Johnson. He uses a series of sexual innuendos in each sentence. Gloria is a petrol station cashier who spends her time reading cheap novels, and is annoyed whenever someone requires service. Big Tramp is a homeless man who tries to get money out of people by any means necessary. Weekend Dad is a man called Clive, who only gets to see his son Curtis on the weekend, and is still bitter about it towards his estranged wife. Unsuitable Bloke applies for jobs he is unqualified for and has no hope of getting. He believes the only reason for his rejection is because he's a black man, so he ends up getting the job anyway. Uncle Lucas, a friendly pensioner who is everyone's friend, but has a seemingly endless supply of compromising stories about people's childhoods (though he believes them innocent enough), which leads to (among other things), a politician getting run out of town; a high-ranking policeman being arrested for kidnap; and an undercover detective being executed by a drugs baron. There is also Didi le Gateau, a French footballer.
The second series introduced even more new characters to keep the show fresh, such as Blaxploitation Pope, who is Lucius T. Kool III, a ghetto brother and leader of the Catholic church; President Umbukele, who is an expert in diplomacy and acquiring foreign aid, but then spends it all on silly things; bad influence Granddad; and a family of animated polar bears with Brummie accents, who live at Dudley zoo.